Needing to add depth to a depleted defensive line the Baltimore Ravens signed free agent defensive lineman Cory Redding to a two year deal. According to the Baltimore Sun the club views Redding, who played last year in Seattle, as a better and more versatile player than the recently departed Dwan Edwards. General manager Ozzie Newsome had this to say about Redding:
“This will sound a little like a broken record, but Cory is a guy who plays like a Raven,” general manager Ozzie Newsome said in a statement. “He hustles, he plays with intelligence, and he can play multiple positions like many of our defensive players. He’s been a starter at both inside tackle and defensive end. And I am sure our coaches will use him in both positions.”
This is another intriguing move by the Ravens. In Redding they get a player who was at one time the highest paid defensive lineman in the NFL, but his productivity has fallen off due to injury problems in recent years. Redding was originally a 3rd round draft pick of the Detroit Lions and quickly established himself as a strong interior pass rusher. He was signed to a large deal by the Lions in 2007, but knee and groin injuries have limited his performance.
It is huge for the Ravens to pick up a pass rusher since the club struggled to pressure opposing QB’s for much of 2009. And Redding is a player who can be a tackle in a 4-3 scheme or an end in the 3-4. The question is whether or not Redding is much more than a solid contributor when healthy? Or will the change of scenery and the chance to play in an environment like Baltimore re-energize the 29 year old lineman? I would imagine the Ravens are still going to look to add lineman and pass rushers through the draft, but Redding could be a real find.